Social Welfare Officer Clarivel Banzuela of the Department of Social Welfare (DSWD) in the Ilocos region, said the event is part of the Safer Internet Day celebration to call upon young people, parents, carers, teachers, social workers, law enforcers, company and policy makers to join together in helping create a better internet world.
“Safer Internet Day is celebrated in over a hundred countries to urge organizations to help promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people,” Banzuela said during the program.
The forum included short lectures on Responsible Use of Social Media by representative from the Philippine Information Agency; Cybersecurity Awareness by the Department of information and Communication Technology (DICT); and Introduction to Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation on Children (OSAEC) by DSWD.
Dr. Marissa Perez of the Department of Education-Dagupan City Schools Division said the forum is very timely as it promotes the responsible use of the internet and helps enlighten the students on maximizing the positive impact of technology.
Student leaders Reine Cirineo and Kyla Delos Santos said the forum was informative and very helpful especially for teenagers like them who are exposed to the internet world.
“Mas babantayan ang mga posts namin at kapag may posts ang mga kakilala namin na hindi tama ay inform na sila agad para kahit paano, mabawasan at hindi na mas kumalat pa,” said Grade 11 student Ashley Fabia.
Jensen Ignacio, another participant to the forum, encouraged parents to be the first to comfort their children if they notice them having problems “para hindi na sa internet ilabas ng anak ang kanyang sama ng loob o problema.”
The activity, led by the Regional Inter-Agency Committee against Trafficking - Child Pornography - Violence Against Women and Children (RIACAT-CP-VAWC), was held simultaneously in four provinces in the region -- Dagupan City in Pangasinan, San Fernando City in La Union, Candon City in Ilocos Sur and Batac City in Ilocos Norte.
This year’s theme for Safer Internet Day is "Responsableng Paggamit ng Internet, Sana All." (JCR/AMB/VHS/PIA Pangasinan)
By Venus May H. Sarmiento